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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 11th May 2018
sml1226 sml1226 is offline
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Default Race Tech Spacer Length?

Just got some Race Tech springs to go with the Intiminator install. There's a 12" piece of PVC in the box to serve as a spacer. I chopped it in half and stuck it in each leg. I figure, start longer, see where we need to go with it.

Got it all buttoned up and lowered it back down though, and it looks like the things are bottoming out under just the weight of the bike.

So, do these springs need a really long spacer? 6" was enough to make it a pain to get the cap on already, so it's not like I'm picking up gaps here or I'm running zero preload. I can get more PVC. That's not a problem. I just want to see if this is normal for these things. I know they're considerably shorter than the other springs, but I'd expect more spacer material if they consistently need ridiculous amounts of spacer material in there. Maybe I'm asking too much there?

Outside of adding the Intiminator, the only other change was pulling the other top out springs that were on the damper rod out. I assume the Progressives came with extra springs for that. RT didn't include anything, so I pulled them and went back to the single stock spring. Regardless, that should only affect things at full extension, right?
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Old 11th May 2018
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Try this thread:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2064349

Post#8, Cotton1 says he used 10" spacers...

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  #3  
Old 13th May 2018
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The absolute shortest the preload spacer can be is the distance from the top of the Intiminators to the bottom of the cap when it is screwed all the way down when the forks are fully extended. This length will take all the play out from the spring and fork cap when forks are fully extending, but probably provide too much rider sag. So, actual length will be longer than this minimum.

There are sticky threads about making up a clamp to get the fork cap back on. Most people need to make one. Be sure to read 7 Pages of Suspension for more info.

I think the Roadster had only one rebound/top out spring. So adding another one was done by a previous owner to lower the forks. There are different length rebound/top out springs available in the after market. I think the stock spring length was only 1".

When adding Ricor Intiminators, you need a Race Tech spring rate one less than Race Tech recommends. Be sure to read up about setting oil level correctly, at stock height to start with, get rider sag correct, test ride with a zip tie on the forks, hit the biggest bump you ever normally hit and see how much travel you use. If you bottom out the forks, add up to 1 oz oil per fork. If you do not bottom out, maybe reduce rider sag up to 1/2 inch.
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  #4  
Old 13th May 2018
sml1226 sml1226 is offline
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I’m not sure how the caps were as hard to get on as they were the first time around. After getting some time to pull it back apart, the spacers were far too short. I re-measured and re-cut them, checking the oil level along the way, and the result is the bike standing as I’d expected it to. It may be just a little stiff now, so I may end up shaving them down a bit, but it rides beautifully so far. I’m still thinking I may get some adjustable caps to make this a simpler tweak down the line, but it’s pretty close already.

I’m not sure which of the three springs was the original top out spring, but I assumed it would be the one that didn’t match the other two. It looked like the one I saw come from a stock Iron front end, so I imagine the other two are Progressive’s add ons. It did force me to lower (raise? The front end needed lowered...) the tubes in the trees to get the bike back level, but it sits flat again now.
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Old 13th May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sml1226 View Post
I’m still thinking I may get some adjustable caps to make this a simpler tweak down the line, but it’s pretty close already
I always thought those were kind of *over the top* on a Sportster until I put in the straight rate Race Techs and got my G.V. emulators (no offense, XLXR) dialed in with the correct weight and brand of fork oil. Now, I'm thinking the same as you, if only because a small adjustment at this level actually makes an appreciable difference.
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Adding air valves to the fork caps can provide far more adjustability than adjustable preload caps. Once you get preload/rider sag correct, adding more weight on the back of the bike tends to minimize additional fork sag, but reducing fork dive under hard braking with extra oil or air pressure becomes more important.

Theoretically, The best use of adjustable fork caps is to get longest preload spacer length to minimize fork cap setting for solo, but then add preload for two up. The catch is, you still have to find the correct preload spacer length.
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